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This month, Festivale is welcoming more reviewers to the fold. We are fortunate to have so many conscientious volunteers helping to cover our movie reviews (in the film section called A Reel Life) and especially Australian author Sally Odgers who also writes under the name Tegan James in the book section.

In the seventies Australian science fiction fan Jack Herman produced a series called 'the Series Series' in his science fiction fanzine. Your humble editor contributed to that series, writing about the Roger Zelazny Princes of Amber/Chaos series. Series are popular with science fiction / fantasy/ crime fiction readers, writers, publishers and publicists, so at Festivale we are tipping our collective hat to Jack, taking the idea and running as fast as we can.

We have commissioned several articles on well-known series, and will be publishing book pages, listing selected bibliographies, recommended reading order, and other useful information -- all linked to online book sellers in three continents so you can indulge your completist instincts and fill out those holes in your collection.

Science fiction is also called speculative fiction, to include the variations, the space operas like Star Wars, the hard science fiction that examines the results of mechanistic technology changes, and the soft science fiction, which looks at the results of changes in social technologies (like Candide and Gulliver's Travels). Science fiction tells us less about the future than it does about the present, you only have to look at the science fiction films before Star Wars to see that.

Speculative fiction also covers fantasy and horror, and other genres and sub-genres that ask the great What if? question. The ones that deal with alternative realities and alternative societies, both the utopias and the dystopias.

Australia has always had an active interest in reading and producing science fiction, as Bruce Gillespie and Wynne Whiteford show in their articles. At Worldcon once again we discussed setting up an organisation promoting the speculative genres, for artists, film makers and other professions as well as writers. There is a discussion list in operation, contact the editor for more information.

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Site opened: 1-Oct-1996
File last updated: 21-Sep-1999